A Brighton man has been convicted of trying to murder two nurses at their house in March this year.
Connah Smith, 20, of Vernon Terrace, Brighton, was found guilty of attempted murder by a jury at Lewes Crown Court today (Monday 10 November).
He struck in Dean Street, just off Western Road, Brighton, on Saturday 29 March.
One of his victims, Gabby Price, returned home to find Smith outside her door.
He asked to use the toilet and was allowed to do so, as she knew him after working with him for a short amount of time.
When he returned to the front door as if to leave, he slammed it shut and stabbed her. He tied up Miss Price and awaited the return of her flatmate Megan Parson.
When Miss Parson returned, he stabbed her repeatedly.
Smith had a hammer, knives, imitation firearm, a jerry can full of petrol, matches and gaffer tape in a rucksack.
He asked the women how they wanted to die before stabbing them in the head, neck and body a number of times.
And he constantly told them that they were going to be killed, held them under water in their bath and then later forced them to lie on a bed. There he doused them in petrol and threw lit matches at them.
The girls managed to get away only after one of them claimed that she had suffered a miscarriage.
Smith admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, threats to kill and false imprisonment. He denied that he intended to kill either victim.
But the jury found him guilty.
Detective Inspector Mick Jones said: “I would like to thank the two victims for the courage they have shown during this trial. Their evidence has led to the conviction of Smith.
“He subjected them to an horrendous ordeal over a seven-hour period which was like something out of a horror movie. Unfortunately for the girls it was a very real experience.
“The jury heard how Smith had planned this attack over a number of weeks leading up to the offence.
“He had researched how to get away with murder as well as forensic matters and serial killers on his home computer.
“I am glad the jury has listened to the evidence and found him guilty to the attempted murder charge he faced.”
Smith is due to be sentenced tomorrow (Tuesday 11 November) by Judge Shani Barnes, the recorder of Brighton and Hove.
The victims said in a statement: “We are really grateful to the jury for listening to all the evidence and believing us when we said that Connah Smith tried to kill us.
“Connah Smith is an extremely dangerous man and we are pleased that his conviction means that he is unlikely to be able to hurt someone else for the foreseeable future.
“We would like to thank Sussex Police and the prosecution counsel for their help and support they have shown us throughout this ordeal.
“We would also like to thank our friends and family for their love and support.”
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